VSL:SCIENCE // Suffering trauma? Play video games.

Traumatic memories are waking nightmares; they can ruin a life. But scientists at Oxford University have come up with an ingenious new treatment for them: Tetris.

The scientists hypothesized that people who played video games (like Tetris) immediately after witnessing a violent event might have fewer “cognitive resources” to devote to the formation of a traumatic memory.

They tested this idea by showing people gruesome videos of surgery and car accidents, then having them play several hours of Tetris. And in fact, subjects who played the video game did suffer fewer flashbacks and nightmares. So the next time you see a wreck on the highway, hurry home, get on the couch, and fire up the Xbox.

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